Written by Joe Smith
If you would like to catch up on all the posts in our "Bible Character" series, please take the time to explore each one. You can find them by clicking the link here: Bible Character Series
Judas is a name that has become synonymous with betrayal, deception, and greed. Judas had the privilege of being one of the twelve disciples. He was there at all of the amazing events recorded in the Gospels, not to mention all the events not recorded. How could someone with such a close relationship with Jesus be such a sell out? Like many stories in the Bible this was an issue of the heart.
NHL teams shell out big money to their players. For the most part, teams are very generous with their accounts. Players’ in today’s game are rewarded quite handsomely compared to any other time in hockey history. Now, most players don’t get too wrapped up in the financial aspect of the game and aren’t affected by this wealth; but, there are some that seem all too willing to showcase their greed, selfishness and financial management issues. The love of money has ruined many lives. It was the love of money which played a major factor in Judas’ decision to betray Jesus. Judas was responsible for watching over the money for the rest of the disciples. Money was his thing, his job, and his priority. He was deceptive from the beginning and would take money from the collection the Disciples would gather (John 12:6). It was obvious that Judas’ love of money had a strong hold on him. It blocked out Jesus’ love and teachings. All he could think about was money.
Jesus was quoted as saying: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). This does not mean that you won’t be going to heaven if you have a heavy bank account. It means that if your number one priority is money then it makes it really difficult to focus on Christ. God needs to be your number one love and an obsession with anyone or anything else will ruin that relationship. Judas never put that teaching into practice. He ended up betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. What would that be worth today? There have been many predictions; Two hundred to two thousand dollars for betraying the Son of God. No matter how you look at it, Judas gave up his “leader” for very little money. It was all he saw. Money was all he could focus on. It was his desire and ultimate treasure.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). I doubt Judas ever tried to serve both God and money, but he would later try to return the silver without success. His life would end hanging from a tree after being so consumed with sorrow and guilt. While it is a very sad story it should serve as (among many things) a warning against a love of money. It can dominate your thoughts and can sometimes make for some very irrational decisions.
We do need to be responsible with our finances, but not consumed by them. By focusing on the Lord, we put our priorities in proper order. When we focus on the Lord we won’t be consumed with those finances. We will be consumed with glorifying God and giving thanks for the amazing sacrificial gift of Jesus Christ. That is worth eternally more than anything else. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2).